Last Friday we visited Warner Bros. Leavesden studios in southeast England to get an early look at the production of Justice League. A detailed list of what we learned and saw can be found here but today we’re going to look at the one clip of actual footage we saw.
At the end of visit as shooting wrapped up on day 31 of the 111 day shoot, Zack Snyder (alongside Deb Snyder and Charles Roven) met the group of journalists in the War Room for snacks and drinks. Before taking questions he played a three minute scene or us that was cut together from the early days of the shoot – a scene where Barry Allen in casual clothes enters an abandoned, graffiti marked building, a warehouse of sorts.
A few steps in, Barry opens a circuit breaker where he inserts a battery – that’s already sitting inside of it – into a socket before closing it and pulling the switch. Sparks fly, not even phasing Barry, and the power activates to what’s best described as The Flash HQ. The concept art in the War Room of the Justice League set refers to this place as Barry’s “apartment” but it seems to serve more as a hideout for Barry to track crime and store The Flash costume which sits upon a mannequin to the right of his massive workstation which featured easily over a dozen screens abstractly placed all over the main wall.
In the other corner however sat a well-dressed man in the dark. It’s Bruce Wayne who’s been waiting for Barry to return. This is the first Justice League recruitment scene and plays out similar to the Tony Stark-Peter Parker introduction in Captain America: Civil War. The special effects weren’t in place and it’s a very early rough cut yet the scene was effective in getting the point across that Justice League is indeed a very different movie than its predecessors.
Barry is startled but more than anything, he’s confused. Bruce introduces himself, Barry makes a joke about Bruce sitting in his “second favorite chair,” and then Bruce hands Barry a printout from the surveillance footage we saw in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as Barry continues to deny it, again with jokes as Bruce looks around the room with his back towards Barry.
Barry: This is a person who looks exactly like me but who is definitely NOT me… Hippie, long hair… Very attractive Jewish boy… He drinks milk. I don’t drink milk.
Bruce, ignoring Barry’s words, says that he knows Barry has powers but doesn’t understand them.
Barry: My special skills inlude viola, web design, fluent in sign language… Well, gorilla sign language…
Bruce’s attention shifts towards the mannequin where The Flash costume (more on this later) sits. Bruce starts describing it, as if complimenting Barry’s work in using heat and damage resistant materials.
Barry: I do competitive ice dancing.
Bruce: It’s what they use on the space shuttle to prevent it from burning up on re-entry.
Barry: I do VERY competitive ice dancing. Look, man, I don’t know who you you are but whoever you’re looking for, it’s not me.
As Bruce faces the screens he quickly turns and whips a Batarang directly at Barry’s face. Time slows to a crawl and we view the facial expression response from Barry as his shock is quickly replaced by awe as he notices it’s a Batman weapon hurling towards his face, puting it together that Batman is in his workspace. Barry takes his time picking the weapon out of the air and faces Bruce as time returns to normal for both players in the scene.
“You’re The Batman,” says Barry. Bruce, again ignoring Barry’s denials, and pretty much anything he says, follows up with “So, you’re fast.)
Barry: THAT seems like an over simplification.
Bruce: I’m putting together a team – people with special abilities. You see, I believe enemies are coming –
Before Bruce can finish, Barry excitedly interrupts him.
Barry: Stop right there… I’m in!
Bruce: You are? Just like that?
Barry continues, reaffirming with a “yeah” before adding with less volume that he “needs friends.” Bruce, relieved at how easy this was says “great!” and then Barry holds up the batarang, asking if he can keep it.
It’s unclear how early in the movie this scene takes place and if Bruce/Wonder Woman had already tried to recruit Cyborg and failed. We’re assuming Cyborg opted not to join the team when asked at first given that he shows up later in the movie and joins up only after the head of S.T.A.R. Labs and his father, Silas Stone, is kidnapped by Parademons.
If it wasn’t abundantly clear, the similarities to the Stark-Parker dynamic are undeniable but the goal of Snyder showing us The Flash recruitment scene seems to be to emphasize that Justice League has more to offer in its range of characters and situations. It will be lighter and more fun. It will have an injection of youthfulness and innocence from Cyborg and Flash and with how Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher play off each other behind-the-scenes.
We were sold on Ray Fisher upon speaking with him, but it wasn’t until seeing this scene that we felt the same way about Ezra Miller, especially since we’re already so familiar with another Barry Allen on the small screen played by Grant Gustin. They nailed it and Ezra plays off of Ben Affleck perfectly. From the limited footage we saw here and what we saw being shot that day on set, Ezra’s take is similar to Gustin’s in The Flash TV series but equally different. It also helps that his costume, his base of operations, who he works with and who will eventually form the supporting cast of his own movie are all so different as well.
But if you weren’t sure about The Flash on the big screen, getting his own movie in 2018, you can be now. He might be a breakout star of Justice Leaague.
Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.